Could excessive political spending in the swing states be masking flat-to-down spending across other broadcast spot markets?
According to various media buyers, while the political cash is flowing to battleground states, key categories, notably automotive and retail, are getting bruised by a downturn in consumer spending. The New York market, for example, is soft.
"Automotive sales are down," notes Colleen Gelber, SVP, local broadcast, PHD-New York. "People are scared to spend that kind of money, even with deep discounts. She notes that, although GM is spending freely, Ford and Chrysler buys are flat.
Jean Pool, EVP/COO, Universal McCann LCI, adds, "We see Chrysler spending as down, with Ford flat and foreign auto up. I don't see the economy turned around enough."
Retail also is looking slow, despite back-to-school spending. "Retail isn't doing great in third quarter," Pool says. Gelber describes retail buying as "flat to down."
For more on this "spot news" story, see the Sept.20 issue of B&C.